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Are You A Teacher? Please read.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Osama_Spears, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. I am in High-School as of now and I was thinking about taking up being a music/bass instructor (private and/or group) and I was wondering if anyone here instructs themself and if they would tell me what kind/type of education they have. Also,if you don't teach and know what type of education/training to take,please reply.

    Thank you.
  2. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Uhh... go find a private teacher. Get good. Then get better.

    The only skills really needed to be a teacher/instructor is to be good at what you are instructing. (for the most part)

    I won't start formal training to be a teacher next year, but I have tought others to play bass and tuba. I've given a few informal lessons for both instruments. You only have to know how to do it to teach it. How well you can do it is how well you can teach it, so keep that in mind: the better you are, the better you can teach it.
  3. I'm working towards my bachelors in music education. To teach in the school system you'll need your bachelors. I'm not sure about where you live but here in KY we have to get our masters within 10 years of graduating. If you want to teach college you'll need your masters.
  4. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I give lessons on a fairly regular basis to a few students (when I'm home from college). I just teach the basics, and my students are all just starting out.

    I guess my point is, you can teach lessons whenever you want as long as you can get students (since I have no formal music education degree, I charge less than the local music stores) and you feel comfortable teaching at the level your students need.
  5. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    As mentioned, all you need to do private lessons is to be good at the instrument and know how to communicate what you're doing. This isn't for everyone, though. There are plenty of good players out there that couldn't explain what they were doing to save their lives.

    To get better at conveying what it is you are doing, be greedy for knowledge. Read books, watch videos and take lessons yourself.
  6. I currently take private lessons and I feel that my instructor is very talented. And starting next year I am going to try to take Guitar and Piano classes in School so that should help also.

    I don't really want to goto college. However,when the student finds out I went to blank college they'll be more impressed and I'll prob get him as my client before the bassist that lives in his mom's basement w/ not even a high school degree,you see what I am saying?

    I think I need to work on my teaching skills also. A technique I'd use is going slow and making sure they understand EVERYTHING they need to know/want to know.Also,relate the lessons to there personal interest. If the student is a fan of Maiden/Steve Harris maybe one week we'll go over his signature "galloping" and learn a few Maiden songs. Does this sound like a good way to teach? :meh:
  7. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    "More impressed" isn't necessarily going to get you more students. That guy in his mom's basement could possibly still be easier to connect with and better at conveying the material than a college grad.

    Going slow is generally a pretty good idea, yes. They don't have to have the whole exercise completely down pat, but they must understand the concept well enough to be able to practice it without your help.

    I'd also suggest teaching your students some basic theory so that they will be able to analyze the styles of their favourite players. For instance, you could explain how Steve Harris's signature sound revolves primarily around staccato triplets/eighth notes and creative use of minor scales.
  8. Thank you for your time and information :) Do you teach yourself?

    -See the thing is I don't really want to goto all those expensive universities. I'm sure I'd learn alot in college if I took music major,but I am not the best student :meh:
  9. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Some community colleges offer music programs, or at least some of the ones in this area do, anyway. Get an associates degree. Community college is inexpensive.
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    All you gotta do is stay one lesson ahead of the student :p
  11. Thank you for your information. There is a Community College really close to me and it is really inexpensive also. :hyper:
  12. I'd also reccomend teaching them theory. I think it would be better to analyze a maiden song, not just learn the notes. Learn why steve played what he did and why it works around what the other instruments are doing. Give them the tools to be a creative musician.
  13. Of course...I was just using the Maiden thing as an example :D
  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Yes, you do have to be proficient on your instrument, but you don't have to be Jamerson.

    The first thing to remember is that simply because you are a talented bass player, does not mean you will be a good teacher.

    Teaching is a different beast all together. I think it would be important to take some sort of course on instruction. The fact is, people learn in different ways, and familiarizing yourself with educational methods would make you a better teacher.

    You should be diverse. You should know something about rock, jazz, pop, blues, country and possibly more.

    You should be able to do basic reading. You don't necessarily have to be able to sight read Junior Walker's "Home Cookin'" at first glance, but you should be able to read.

    You should have sound technique, and a knowledge of diverse techniques. Your right and left hand techniques should be sound enough that you don't pass on bad habits, and can identify problems with other students' technique. As a plus, knowing picking and slap/pop, in addition to fingerstyle, would be beneficial.

    You should be organized.

    You should be a good listener. Teach the students what they need to know, but also teach them what they want to know.

    You should have a decent knowledge of performance and the music scene. Students will eventually want to gig, and they will certainly have questions.

    You should have a basic understanding of gear. Students often turn to teachers with questions on equipment.

    You should have a good foundation in theory. The type of stuff outlined in my "Introduction to Chord and Scale Theory" would be the best beginning. That's the type of information you should know backwards and forwards.

    You should have a solid ear. Helping a student develop their ear in extremely important. It's the whole, "Give a man fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he'll eat forever," adage.

    That's a good start.
  15. tappel


    May 31, 2003
    Long Island, NY
    I have a former band mate who owns a local music studio that caters to kids. He's always asking me to teach bass there but I refuse. Why? Because I am weak in theory and reading. He tells me, "they're just kids, show them some songs." And that's the problem with too many bass teachers... My first teacher (back in the day) would ask me, "how'd you do that?" Great. And I was paying him.

    Any decent instructor should have experience, and both a strong knowledge of his instrument and music theory. Otherwise, it's just some guy looking to cash in.

  16. Great post,thank you. I will take all of those into consideration.
  17. I see what you're saying. What I want to do is not just be a guy who they pay to teach them songs. I want them to be a guy they pay to have them understand the songs and how they are played and all that good stuff.
  18. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    The number one thing to teach beginner bassists is technique. Start with scales and make SURE the use their pinkies. I've had tons of friends who started bass only to end up quitting because they can't play their favorite songs due to bad habits in technique. It's really easy to sit down and pick out little finger exercises that promote independent use of finger muscles.

    There's a whole world of other stuff that you need to do but this is what I feel is most important to beginning bassists.

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